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What's A Particular, And What Makes It So? Some Thoughts, Mainly About Aristotle

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Chapter Summary

This chapter has two objectives. The first is to articulate a project. The second is to take one small step towards executing the project. The project may be articulated by two broad questions. The first is a general philosophical question regarding what relation, if any, there is between two conceptions of particularity that emerge from the two main metaphysical contexts in which one finds talk of particulars. The second question is a historical question of when and how these two rather different demands came to be placed upon particulars. The chapter proposes to pick up the narrower historical question and apply it to Plato and Aristotle, asking whether and how Plato and Aristotle distinguish particular from universal and, if they do so, what conception of particularity emerges from the contrast they draw.

Keywords: Aristotle; metaphysical framework; Plato; project



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